The Sri Lankan police's massacre of 8 Tamil civilians, including two schoolchildren in Thampalakamam, was remembered yesterday at the Trincomalee village, twenty years on.
On February 1, 1998 civilians working at the local paddy fields were taken to the nearby police station where officers and home guards began shooting at them, before mutilating the dead bodies by stabbing and kicking them. One dead Tamil man's penis was cut off and stuffed inside his mouth.
Eight civilians died during the attack: 14-year-old Surenthiran Amirthalingam along with his 18-year-old brother, Gajenthiran Amirthalingam, 17-year-old Murukesu Janakan, Nathan Pavalanathan, Subramaniam Thivaharan, Gunaratnam Sivarajan, Ponnambalam Kanagasabai and Aarumugam Sekar. Seventeen others were severely wounded.
Despite the ample evidence, no one has ever been held accountable for the crime.
The remembrance event was organised by the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF), with the party leader, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, and its secretary-general, S Kajendran participating.